Travelling for two weeks, I set myself the challenge to only take carry on luggage in a medium size bag to (almost) airline specifications.

The trip was to Thailand so I wouldn’t need warm clothes and this made it feasible. Also I chose to take only a small travel camera and not a larger SLR and this helped.

Small rucksack
Credit Cards x 4
£’s / $’s, Baht
Insurance / Photo insurance
Flight Tickets & seat reservations
Coach Ticket to Airport
Accommodation details & maps
Folder for itinery
Thailand guides & maps
Travel camera + charger + spare memory cards
GoPro + charger cable + floatation stick
Charged phones x 2 with credit + chargers
Phone waterproof case (#)
Adapter for Thailand
Music on phone & podcasts
Money belt
Address list
Torch (#)
Umbrella (#)
Spork (#)
Lock (#)
Plastic bags for monsoon
Copy of passport and driving licence

# – Didn’t use


1 x Cargo Pants (lots of pockets)
1 x Tracksuit bottoms (for hotel)
1 pair shorts
1 x Fleece
3 x t shirts
3 x Undies
2 x Socks
2 x Belt
Comfy Trainers
Ozzy swim shorts
Reef shoes
Swim goggles
Washing powder


Medicines & painkillers
Toothpaste and brush
Little big towel (#)
Razor + lead
Wet wipes (#)
Jungle mosquito roll on
Plasters (#)
Small scissors (taken at airport)
Diarrhoea tablets (#)

Spare specs (#)
Reactalite specs

For my return as I had bought a dry bag that took up space in my rucksack, I jettisoned a t-shirt and my battered reef shoes. They are £10 on Amazon so will be cheap to replace.

I bought a 2 Gb data Thai sim card for my phone in Bangkok airport. Combined with wifi in all the hotels this was enough for 2 weeks.

I took washing powder (less than 100g) and used this for one wash. The tube broke and that was it. I had barely enough clothes as the weather was so humid and really should have bought a couple more t-shirts while there.

I bought a gel to put on mosquito bites for 7 baht.

Travelling so light made the trip much easier. I changed hotel 7 times and caught two long tail boats in Krabi. I was constantly being asked where my luggage was. I did have a few concerns about the size of my rucksack getting on planes. The pack was deeper than the allowed amount, the other dimensions were fine, but there was never a problem. I took 7 flights.

I took two small guide books. One for Chiang Mai and one for Bangkok. I photoed pages of a book on the islands so I woudn’t need to take this larger book.

If I’m doing a short haul trip such as to Europe for up to five days I may take a larger SLR instead of a travel camera. This has much better quality video and photographs are higher resolution. As the trip is shorter I need fewer clothes so I can fit the SLR in the same 30 litre bag.

There’s a page here for if I’m travelling for longer than 2 weeks. Not really that different.

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